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How to Create a Self-Care Routine

Updated: May 13, 2023


I bet if I were to ask, “do you love yourself,” most will say “yes.”


However, if I were to ask those that claim to love themselves, “do you have a healthy self-care routine,” few will answer in the affirmative.


I’ve found that people understand the importance of self-care, yet they don’t make it a priority.


Why is that?


It’s simple. If you do not have a self-care routine, YOU DON’T LOVE YOURSELF ENOUGH!


Self-care is the regular practice of activities to reduce stress and maintain and enhance well-being.




If you are anything like I used to be, you take care of yourself when you are forced to. There was a time when I worked and traveled back and forth to Philly (from DC) so much that my body shut down on me. I experienced symptoms of illness. I left work, I went to the doctor, and I was told to “get some rest.” Surely, the doctor was mistaken. I had body chills, I was hoarse, I felt like I was running a fever, and you mean to tell me, it was all due to stress and all I needed was rest?! I couldn’t believe it! I took the next day off, slept all day, and sure enough, I felt better.


Many of us do not recognize the physical impact of stress and other emotions. After going to see a doctor, a second time, for similar symptoms and being told the same thing- “get some rest,” I decided to make myself a priority. Instead of being forced to take a day off, I intentionally planned, what I call, “self-care days” or “mental health days.” A day where I take off from work and do whatever I want to do- get a massage, sleep, drink wine, and run errands that I hadn’t had the time to do. Anything that will give me peace of mind and allow me to reset and recharge.



I know some of you are thinking, “that sounds amazing but I don’t have the luxury to take off a full day from work.” I get it, and admittedly, I cannot take these days as often as I would like.

It’s great if you can have mental health days, go to the spa, or take a trip, but your self-care routine should include more than these bigger occurrences. You should do something for yourself daily or weekly that helps you to recharge. I know, I know, you’re too busy to love yourself! That sounds silly, doesn’t it? I know you think you love yourself, but if you do not have a daily/weekly self-care routine, you do not love yourself enough.


It is imperative for you to have a self-care routine in order for you to thrive in your singleness. As a woman, you are a natural nurturer. You give so much to other people and probably your job. You spend so much time making sure your children and spouses are taken care of, but what about you? You have to also make sure that you are taking care of yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup. In fact, what’s in the cup is for you, the excess, and what runs over is for everyone else. (I didn’t make that up but it’s true.)


With that visual in my, here are my suggestions on how to create or perfect your self-care routine, in order to fill your cup.


When working with clients to develop a self-care routine, I like to focus on 3 areas: 1) health, (2) peace, and 3) environment. I’ve found that people are usually at least conscious about their health, but people often neglect the latter from their routine, so I am going to start there,


Increasing Peace

For most of us, the moment we open our eyes in the morning, our brain goes into overdrive. Thinking about what you have to do for the day, how to get your children to their activities, making sure the family eats, and everything you need to complete at work.


I implore you, after you thank the Lord for waking you up, take 30-60 minutes for yourself. Use this time to set the tone for the day; pray, read the Bible, meditate, and state your affirmations, or journal.


If possible, take one night a week for yourself; order takeout, lock yourself in the bathroom (for those of you with little people, I know you love them, but momma needs a break), and take a nice hot bath and read a book.


Do something you enjoy, at least once a week. What are some things you can do to increase your peace?


Environment, People, and Me

This category of self-care is all about controlling who you allow to have access to you. Have you ever had a conversation that left you feeling drained? That is because energy is contagious.


Your environment is very important to your success. Your environment either supports your goals or destroys them. Your environment includes your relationships with people around you.


When creating a self-care routine take inventory of yourself and the people around you. Are you happy with your support system? Do you have like-minded people with whom you can discuss your goals? Have you set and enforced appropriate boundaries?


What changes do you need to make to your environment to take better care of yourself? Putting your phone on do not disturb is a good way to allow yourself to control when people have access to you. You can determine if you have the mental capacity to engage others. If not, return the call or text when you do.


Everyone’s self-care routine will be different. You have to do what’s best for you. Maybe you need to work on telling people “no,” or when they have offended/hurt you.

What changes do you need to make to your environment?


Health

This category is all of the health-conscious stuff you know you should be doing but may not necessarily do. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day, exercising 3 times per week, getting enough sleep, etc.


Working out is a good way to reduce stress, not to mention physical appearance.


I challenge you to add 1-3 new things to your self-care routine each week.



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